Fitzroy Frederick Taylor

A short but eventful life

Thanks to Rosemary Taylor

Fitzroy Frederick Taylor collapsed and  died at Dursley Police Station on  23rd May 1942 just 4 months after being promoted to Inspector.

Police Sergeant 143 Fitzroy Frederick Taylor.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 8560)

Fitzroy Taylor was born in Oxenton near Tewkesbury on 16th November 1900 according to the 1911 census there were 7 children living in the house although it also states that there were 10 children in the family.

Fitzroy’s older brother George William Taylor was killed in France in 1916 aged 22 which had a profound effect on Fitzroy who falsified his age to join the Royal Marines in 1917.

Fitzroy Frederick Taylor when serving in the Royal Marines.
Royal Marine gunner Fitzroy Frederick Taylor service number 1060 Q Company, Royal Marine Artillery at Eastney Barracks Portsmouth.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 10986)


While serving as a Marine, Fitzroy was on board  HMS Marlborough in 1919 when it arrived to evacuate members of the Russian royal family from Yalta in April 1919 and transport them to safety in Malta.

From accounts written at the time and by members of the ships company the Navy expected to evacuate Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, the sister of Queen Alexandra, as well as some other members of the Imperial Family about 10 people in all. In the end there were  more than 50 passengers the most senior of which took over  the officers quarters while the ships officers had to find accommodation where they could on the ship. despite being told to keep luggage to a minimum the captain of the ship estimated that there were 200 tons of it.


Once Fitzroy left the Marines he joined Gloucestershire Constabulary.



After his eventful life you would have thought that Police Constable Taylor may have taken it easy but we know that he entered into the sporting life of the  constabulary as well as playing rugby for Gloucester.



British Police Rugby Union team versus the Army in 1928. Shows Police Constable F. F. Taylor seated in centre row seventh from left.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 567)

Cheltenham Police Rugby team in benefit match for the unemployed, 1923 – shows Police Constable F.F. Taylor in back row sixth from left.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 566)











Miners and four uniformed police constables taken at Princess Royal Colliery pithead, Forest of Dean – 1926.
Second from left is Police Constable 43 Fitzroy F. Taylor stationed at Lydney.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 130)

At Coleford from left to right: Police Sergeant FF Taylor, Police Constables Fred Hudson, Arthur Mynett, Inspector Dowsell. These were the officers who were to attend the Inspection of the police in Hydede park by His Majesty the King on July 20th 1935. The gaiters were required wearing for officers who attended the event.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 578)

Award of Silver Braid

The Citizen on 24th November 1939 outlined the circumstances









Forest of Dean Gazette, March 1940 showing Chief Constable Henn presenting silver braid for Conspicuous Gallantry to Police Constable V. J. Bullock , Special Constable W. F. Williams, Special Constable W. E. Prisk and Police Sergeant F. F. Taylor.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 569)



A piece of Silver Braid.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 10985-1)


He was also awarded a medal from The Society of Protection of Life from Fire


One of his daughters was awake on the night of the fire with toothache and could see the fire from her bedroom window. No one in the family were aware of his bravery until much later.


Record of service 


The Record of Service shows where he was stationed and also the commendations that he received. Most officers fail to fill the first page of commendations let alone nearly fill a second page. Looking at his record he was still a bit  of a rebel as seen in the adverse comments.



Newspaper reports of the death and funeral

This is from the Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucester Graphic on 3oth May 1942


Gloucestershire Echo 30th May 1942


Fitzroy’s brother Cecil Jack Taylor served in Gloucestershire Constabulary  from 1926 until 1957 and his son Francis James Taylor (who was 8 when  his father died) served from 1960 until 1990.

Police Constable 239 Cecil J Taylor.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 9295)


It was much later when Fitzroy’s son was walking the streets in Tewkesbury that he  met a man who may have been able to give an insight into his father’s death.  Ex police officer Cas Smith told him that he knew his father and often came across him wandering the police station with towels wrapped around his head because of the pain. This was something that the family were unaware of although they believe that playing rugby was linked to his death.

Police Constable Cas Smith.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 8689)

Inspector Jim Taylor, son of Fitzroy Taylor, with his son Simon a Metropolitan Police Constable.
(Gloucestershire Police Archives URN 563)

This page was added on 26/07/2022.

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